Where to Find Old New York City
Collected by Charissa Fay , AFAR Ambassador
New York City's history is rich and varied—from the glitter of the Gilded Age to the struggles of the immigrants who sought a better life in America, the city's past shapes its present. There are still many opportunities to experience a different era here, before skyscrapers, smart phones and consumer culture took over. Take a quiet moment and step back in time.....
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, USA
The Grand Central Oyster Bar celebrates its 100th anniversary this year as a New York institution. Located in the lower concourse of Grand Central, it serves over 25 varieties of oysters daily. There is a huge menu of American...
225 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016, USA
The JP Morgan Library's grand, old-world elegance immediately transports you to turn-of-the-century New York. And at that time, there was almost no one more powerful than financier JP Morgan. He launched U.S. Steel and even served as the...
476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018, USA
The main branch of the New York Public Library is one of the country’s grandest Beaux Arts buildings, a temple to learning on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets. At the end of the 19th century, John Bigelow, who oversaw the Tilden...
56 Beaver St, New York, NY 10004, USA
Delmonico's, which sits on a distinctive triangle-shaped corner near Wall Street, opened in 1837 as the first fine dining restaurant in the U.S. It was the first establishment to have a printed menu, separate tables, and tablecloths, and it was...
2, 54 Pearl St, New York, NY 10004, USA
Want to eat where a historic event of the American Revolution took place? Try Fraunces Tavern in downtown New York City. After defeating the British, it was here that George Washington gathered his officers for a farewell speech before heading...
99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040, USA
The Cloisters, a museum devoted to medieval art and architecture, is a delightful respite from the hustle and bustle of NYC. This tranquil treasure is definitely worth a half day (or more) trip on your next visit. A branch of the Metropolitan...
1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025, USA
Think you are overwhelmed by the beautiful churches in Europe? Check out the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. In fact, by area this is the 4th largest church in the world! Not only the building itself is stunning, make...
47 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022, USA
Early this spring, I had an hour to kill in Manhattan, so I ducked into the Grolier Club, America's oldest bibliophilic society, where I saw a fascinating exhibit devoted to Wunderkammer, the cabinets of curiosities that originated in 16th-century...
59 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036, USA
I suppose the Algonquin is an obvious pilgrimage for anyone with a fascination for the 1920s, but it certainly didn't disappoint. The ambience conjured everything I imagined of a legendary literary bolthole and more importantly my White Russian...
405 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10174, USA
A quintessential example of art deco architecture, the Chrysler Building is by far my favorite skyscraper—and that was before I realized how gorgeous the interior is! The auto-inspired design mixes chrome lighting, heavy wood elevators and...
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, USA
Stepping into the enormous main concourse of this landmarked architectural jewel—with its sweeping granite staircases, hulking columns and 38-meter (125-foot) ceilings painted with night-sky constellations—can be a jaw-dropping experience. What’s...
New York, NY, USA
The Statue of Liberty may be the most iconic sight that comes to mind when one thinks of the history of immigrants in New York, but not far from it in the harbor is another important landmark—Ellis Island. Until the Supreme Court ruled in...
768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019, USA
Chances are that if you're not a Hollywood power-type or a member of the glitterati, ( and you’d know if you were), you won't be attending the Oscars unless you are a “ seat-filler” that slips into place when the star has to go to the loo or out...
103 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002, USA
These days, wandering the Lower East Side (the area between the Bowery and the East River, with Houston Street marking its northern border and Canal Street its southern one), it can feel impossible to recall that this neighborhood was once among...
421 E 61st St, New York, NY 10065, USA
First constructed as a carriage house in 1799, then converted into a hotel in 1826, the Mount Vernon Hotel is not only one of the oldest buildings in Manhattan but also a fascinating slice of what life was like in NY C back when this part of the...
1 W 67th St, New York, NY 10023, USA
The Leopard at des Artistes is more than a restaurant. It's an Upper West Side landmark, a Manhattan treasure and genuine New York classic. It was once Cafe des Artistes, a restaurant where luminaries from the worlds of art, politics and...
205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002, USA
Despite multiple trips over countless years going to New York City, it wasn't until a year ago today that I encountered this sandwich — the one that left me drooling until I could enjoy it again. Katz's quickly went from a one-stop place for...
60 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022, USA
Also known as schmooze central, you can certainly picture this restaurant/bar as a background in The Great Gatsby or Mad Men. Spot F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald on Ed Sorel's impressive "who's who" mural amongst red wine leather banquettes. Though...
Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Coney Island's history dates back to the 1800's, when it was envisioned as a working man's paradise. For pocket change, you could enjoy rides and hot dogs. While you'll need a little more than pocket change now, this venture outside Manhattan has...
1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, USA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art—or, commonly, the Met—is one of the world's great museums, alongside the Louvre, the British Museum, and a handful of others. It would be easy to devote an entire week's visit to the museum alone, and...
New York, NY, USA
Manhattan can, famously, feel like endless rows of apartment blocks and office towers for most of its length. At least above 14th Street, a regular grid of streets and avenues, bisected only by Broadway, has transformed the city into a dream for...
2 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022, USA
The King Cole Bar is about as legendary as any bar in New York. Located in the St. Regis Hotel at Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, it has been the place to go for a cocktail since it opened in 1932—Salvador Dalí, John Lennon, and Marilyn...
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